CFS/ME ABILITY SCALE
The fatigue in CFS is both mental and physical. For some sufferers, the physical is the
greatest burden and for others, the mental fatigue is most troublesome. This scale was
developed by Dr David Bell  as a clinically useful way to assess response to
treatment - combines the physical and mental acitivity with level of wellness. This is not
very satisfactory because different people suffer in different ways but gives an idea of
the level of disability.
100: No symptoms with exercise. Normal overall activity.
Able to work or do house/home work full time with no difficulty.
90: No symptoms at rest. Mild symptoms with physical activity.
Normal overall activity level. Able to work full time without difficulty.
80: Mild symptoms at rest. Symptoms worsened by exertion.
Minimal activity restriction needed for activities requiring exertion only. Able to work
full time with difficulty in jobs requiring exertion.
70: Mild symptoms at rest. Some daily activity limitation
Overall functioning close to 90% of expected except for activities
requiring exertion. Able to work/do housework full time with difficulty. Needs to rest in
60: Mild to moderate symptoms at rest. Daily activity
limitation clearly noted.
Overall functioning 70% to 90%. Unable to work full time
in jobs requiring physical labour (including just standing), but able to work full time in
light activity (sitting) if hours are flexible.
50: Moderate symptoms at rest. Moderate to severe symptoms
with exercise or activity.
Overall activity level reduced to 70% of expected. Unable to
perform strenuous duties, but able to perform light duty or deskwork 4 - 5 hours a day,
but requires rest periods. Has to rest/sleep 1-2 hours daily.
40: Moderate symptoms at rest. Moderate to severe symptoms
with exercise or activity.
Overall activity level reduced to 50-70% of expected. Able to
go out once or twice a week. Unable to perform strenuous duties. Able to work sitting
down at home 3-4 hours a day, but requires rest periods.
30: Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Severe symptoms with
Overall activity level reduced to 50% of expected. Usually confined
to house. Unable to perform any strenuous tasks. Able to perform deskwork 2-3 hours a day,
but requires rest periods.
20: Moderate to severe symptoms at rest. Unable to perform
Overall activity 30-50% of expected. Unable to leave house except rarely. Confined to bed
most of day. Unable to concentrate for more than 1 hour a day.
10: Severe symptoms at rest. Bed ridden the majority of the
No travel outside of the house. Marked cognitive symptoms preventing concentration.
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0: Severe symptoms on a continuous basis. Bed ridden
constantly, unable to care for self.